An obese travel agent from Sydney, Australia, made up her mind to lose weight after fitting into a standard aeroplane seat – posed a challenge.

For Rochelle Monique – Atkins diet, cabbage soup diet, Keto diet, diet pills, rigorous workout, nothing helped her lose over 50 pounds to reach her goal. She decided to go ahead with bariatric surgery when she was unable to sit down and tie her shoes laces.

Karen Lewis is an insurance agent. She was so conscious of her size that she would either order food home or check out the restaurant interiors online to see if she would fit into the seats!

Every obese person has a pressing reason that pushes him to undergo the surgery. A moment of embarrassment, a determination to beat the odds, a general sense of seeing a healthier future, or anything – let alone the health consequences.

Although we come across various solutions to lose weight, bariatric surgery is known to give the best long-term results. However, choosing to go ahead with it is not an easy decision. What creates a greater apprehension is when you choose to meet your surgeon for the first time, for his opinion.

Here are a few tips to equip you with the right questions/information before meeting your weight-loss surgeon –

1. Essential to-do tasks

  • Arrive at the hospital early. You will need time to complete any required forms or tests before meeting with your doctor.
  • Be honest and completely transparent with your doctor. Share your point of view and do not hold back information that you think may be unimportant or embarrassing, such as urine incontinence or memory loss.
  • Make written list
  1. Of all the medications you take regularly, including any herbs, vitamin supplements and over-the-counter medications.
  2. Past surgeries, even those not related to your current problem.
  3. Family history and your medical history such as prior treatments for heart or thyroid problems.
  4. All allergies (rash, hives, swelling) or unexpected reactions (nausea, drowsiness) to medications.

This will come in handy to list out everything in-detail in your form and discuss with the doctor.

  • You may find it beneficial to have someone accompany you during your initial visit. Not only can they provide emotional support, but they can also take notes, help you remember important dates, and process things after the visit.
  • Make a list of all the questions/concerns you have for the doctor, like post-op pain, loss of mobility, convalescence period etc.

2. Attend information sessions –

Information sessions give you a fair idea of the surgical options, dietary changes etc. The surgeons, dieticians, nutritionists, and administrative team members will take you through the process and allow you to decide. It does not commit you to undergo surgery but empowers you with the knowledge on various aspects and options. It gives you time to think about it, discuss the options with your family and then meet your surgeon to make an informed decision.

3. Do your homework –

You will be in for a surprise if your weight-loss surgeon sets a goal that won’t meet your expectation. Bariatric surgery is a life-changing procedure. Although it can substantially help reduce the risk of weight-related health problems, there is always a screening process to check if you qualify for surgery.

Primary points of evaluation include –

  • Your efforts to lose weight through conventional methods that have turned futile.
  • You have serious health issues due to your weight.
  • You have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 or above.

So, before you meet your doctor, ensure you are open to his suggestions or recommendations. All your apprehensions can be put to rest only after your complete evaluation.

Prepare yourself and talk to your bariatric surgeon about all your fears and concerns.

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